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Dec 14, 2009

RIGHTS OF AN ACCUSED

Before Criminal Prosecution: (before arraignment)
  • Right to due process (Sec. 14(1))
  • Custodial rights (Sec. 12)
  • Right to be informed of his rights
  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to counsel
  • Right to bail (Sec. 13)
  • Right to speedy disposition of his case (Sec. 16)
  • Right of free access to the courts

During Criminal Prosecution: (after arraignment up to promulgation of judgment)
  • Right to presumption of innocence (Sec. 14(2))
  • Right to be heard by himself and counsel (Sec. 14(2))
  • Right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him (Sec. 14(2))
  • Right to have speedy, impartial and public trial (Sec. 14(2))
  • Right to confrontation (Sec. 14(2))
  • Right to have compulsory process to secure attendance of witnesses and production of evidence on his behalf (Sec. 14(2))
  • Right against self-incrimination (Sec. 17)
  • Right against double jeopardy (Sec. 21)
  • 9.Right against ex-post facto law and bill of attainder (Sec. 22)

After Conviction:
  • Right against excessive fines and cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment (Sec. 19)




SECTION 12
Custodial Rights


Sec. 12: (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.

(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence.

(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices, and their families.


- To put the accused on equal footing with the State

"in custody" - includes deprivation or mere restriction on physical liberty

Custodial Investigation – investigation conducted by law enforcer immediately after arrest

The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine – all evidence (the fruit) derived from an illegal search (the poisonous tree) must be suppressed, whether it was obtained directly through the illegal search itself, or indirectly using information obtained in the illegal search

“But For” Test – or taint doctrine; the evidence would not have come to light but for the illegal action of the police

WHEN CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION BEGINS:
  1. Restrictive View - limited to in-custody interrogations as when the accused has been arrested and brought to the custody of the police for questioning
  2. Expanded View – contemplates two situations: (1) general inquiry as to identification, circumstances of a crime without focus on any particular suspect; and (2) suspicion is focused on a particular person and questions are asked from him to elicit admissions or information

**Under the expanded view, general inquiry as to identification, like in a police line-up, is not considered part of “custodial investigation” hence the accused may be identified by a witness in a police line-up even if made not in the presence of counsel

NOT PART OF CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION:
  • Police line-up, or during process of identification
  • Spontaneous statement not elicited through questioning, but given in an ordinary manner (spur-of-the-moment statements) – res gestae
  • Volunteered statements
  • Extrajudicial admission to the prosecutor or a private person
  • Investigation made by a citizen or private security officer


Miranda Doctrine: Rights Under Custodial Investigation


Miranda vs. Arizona, 16 L. Ed 2d 694

Our holding will be spelled out with some specificity in the pages which follow, but, briefly stated, it is this: the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. By custodial investigation, we mean questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. As for the procedural safeguards to be employed, unless other fully effective means are devised to inform accused persons of their right of silence and to assure a continuous opportunity to exercise it, the following measures are required: Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has the right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. The defendant may waive effectuation of these rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. If, however, he indicates in any manner and at any stage of the process that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking, there can be no questioning. Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him. The mere fact that he may have answered some questions or volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of hte right to refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney and thereafter consents to be questioned.

Extrajudicial Confessions to Mayor and Media Admissible


People vs. Andan, G.R. No. 116437, March 3, 1997

Under these circumstances, it cannot be successfully claimed that appellant's confession before the mayor is inadmissible. It is true that a municipal mayor has "operational supervision and control" over the local police and may arguably be deemed a law enforcement officer for purposes of applying Section 12 (1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution. However, appellant's confession to the mayor was not made in response to any interrogation by the latter. In fact, the mayor did not question appellant at all. No police authority ordered appellant to talk to the mayor. It was appellant himself who spontaneously, freely and voluntarily sought the mayor for a private meeting. The mayor did not know that appellant was going to confess his guilt to him. When appellant talked with the mayor as a confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, his uncounseled confession to him did not violate his constitutional rights. Thus, it has been held that the constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime. What the Constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or confessions. The rights under Section 12 are guaranteed to preclude the slightest use of coercion by the state as would lead the accused to admit something false, not to prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. Hence we hold that appellant's confession to the mayor was correctly admitted by the trial court.

Appellant's confessions to the media were likewise properly admitted. The confessions were made in response to questions by news reporters, not by the police or any other investigating officer. We have held that statements spontaneously made by a suspect to news reporters on a televised interview are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence.


Q: COA auditor investigated certain anomalies in the accounts of a government agency. He questioned X, a public employee therein, without benefit of counsel. Are X’s statements admissible?
A: Yes. A COA auditor is not a law enforcer.

Q: Miguel, an AFP major, arrested B and questioned him without benefit of counsel. Admissible?
A: Yes. An AFP member is not a law enforcer.

Q: H, a police officer, and husband of W, saw the latter cheating on him with her paramour. The paramour was able to escape while W was detained by H and then questioned. Later, H filed a case for adultery against W and used her statement as evidence. Admissible?
A: Yes. Even if H is a police officer, the time when he questioned W, his wife, he was not acting in his official capacity as a police officer but in his personal capacity as her husband.

Q: X, the accused in a case for rape, was asked to provide the police investigating team with samples of his DNA. He did so without assistance of counsel. Admissible?
A: Yes. The act of providing samples for identification is a mere mechanical act, not covered by the right against self-incrimination.

Q: If in the above case, X was also made to sign booking sheets and police reports, also without counsel. Admissible?
A: No. Handwriting is not a mere mechanical act.


RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT
- Refers not only to testimonial confessions but also to acts
- but does not apply to acts that are merely mechanical (does not require use of intelligence) or to general questions (e.g. What is your name? Right to remain silent? Grabe ha ^_^)


MECHANICAL ACTS:
  • Paraffin test
  • DNA test
  • Examination of physical body
  • Fingerprinting
  • Being asked to step on a footprint to compare foot size

NOT MECHANICAL:
  • Handwriting
  • Initials on marked money
  • Signing of inventory receipts in search warrant (see People vs. Go)
  • Reenactment


RIGHT TO INDEPENDENT AND COMPETENT COUNSEL
- absolute, even if accused himself is a lawyer

“Independent” - counsel is not hampered with any conflicts of interest

“Competent” - counsel who is vigilant in protecting the rights of accused


Accused must be apprised of his rights under custodial investigation


People vs. Obrero, G.R. No. 122142, May 17, 2000

Extrajudicial confessions are presumed voluntary, and, in the absence of conclusive evidence showing the declarant’s consent in executing the same has been vitiated, such confession will be sustained.
xxx

But what renders the confession of accused-appellant inadmissible is the fact that accused-appellant was not given the Miranda warnings effectively. Under the Constitution, an uncounseled statement, such as it is called in the United States from which Art. III, §12(1) was derived, is presumed to be psychologically coerced. Swept into an unfamiliar environment and surrounded by intimidating figures typical of the atmosphere of police interrogation, the suspect really needs the guiding hand of counsel.

Now, under the first paragraph of this provision, it is required that the suspect in custodial interrogation must be given the following warnings: (1) He must be informed of his right to remain silent; (2) he must be warned that anything he says can and will be used against him; and (3) he must be told that he has a right to counsel, and that if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.

Mere Perfunctory Reading of Miranda Warnings not Enough

There was thus only a perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights to accused-appellant without any effort to find out from him whether he wanted to have counsel and, if so, whether he had his own counsel or he wanted the police to appoint one for him. This kind of giving of warnings, in several decisions[16] of this Court, has been found to be merely ceremonial and inadequate to transmit meaningful information to the suspect. Especially in this case, care should have been scrupulously observed by the police investigator that accused-appellant was specifically asked these questions considering that he only finished the fourth grade of the elementary school.

xxx

Independent Counsel

Moreover, Art. III, §12(1) requires that counsel assisting suspects in custodial interrogations be competent and independent. Here, accused-appellant was assisted by Atty. De los Reyes, who, though presumably competent, cannot be considered an "independent counsel" as contemplated by the law for the reason that he was station commander of the WPD at the time he assisted accused-appellant.



NOTA BENE:
  • The right to counsel attaches upon investigation, that is, when the investigation officer starts to ask question to elicit information or confession or admission. In case of waiver of rights, the same must be done in writing and in the presence of counsel.
  • A legal officer of a city cannot qualify as “independent” counsel. As to who has burden of proving the voluntariness of the confession and that the constitutional safeguards have been complied with, the prosecution has the burden of proof.
  • If admission is made before a private person, then it is admissible even if done without assistance of counsel.


SECTION 13
Right to Bail


Sec. 13: All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.


- Available whether or not the case has already been filed for as long as the person has been denied his liberty or otherwise deprived thereof
- A mode to ensure the attendance of the accused at his trial

2 KINDS OF BAIL:
  • Bail Bond
> Cash – money, not check
> Property – real property, not personal property (because value depreciates); annotated in the title
> Surety – similar to insurance
  • Recognizance

GENERAL RULE: Available to all persons, not exclusively to those already formally charged of a crime. Any person who is under detention and custody and deprived of his liberty may avail himself of this right.

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, and death when evidence of guilt is strong
  • Military men facing charges before court martial
  • Recidivists, habitual delinquents, quasi-recidivists, person who violated his probation or parole, even if penalty is less than six years
  • Extradition or deportation proceedings
  • Contempts in legislative inquiry

RIGHTS INCLUDED:
  1. Right to a hearing, which may be summary and does not have to be separate and distinct from the trial itself
  2. Prosecution has right to present evidence – if this is denied, the grant of bail is void

WHEN A MATTER OF RIGHT:
  • MTC - before and after conviction (less than 6 years imprisonment)
  • RTC - before conviction, below reclusion perpetua and even if evidence of guilt is strong
  • Minority - even if reclusion perpetua or death and evidence of guilt is strong; a privileged mitigating circumstance (lower by two degrees, the highest penalty that can be imposed is only reclusion temporal)
  • Reclusion Perpetua or higher if evidence of guilt is not strong

NOTA BENE:
  • If the accused is convicted and penalty of more than 6 years imprisonment is imposed, the trial court should cancel the bail, if he has been provisionally released. It becomes discretionary only upon the court whether to grant the accused provisional liberty on the same bail bond.
  • When the charge is punishable by reclusion perpetua or higher, hearing for grant of bail is mandatory to comply with due process of law. The prosecution should also be allowed to present evidence.

WHEN A MATTER OF DISCRETON:
  • RTC - after conviction, below reclusion perpetua but more than 6 years imprisonment
  • Reclusion Perpetua or death - before conviction
  • Minority - after conviction for more than 6 years imprisonment
  • CA - accused was charged with murder but was convicted with homicide, which conviction was appealed to the CA; the trial court should deny bail but the CA has discretion whether to let the accused out on provisional liberty


WHEN BAIL SHALL BE DENIED:
  • MTC - recidivist, habitual delinquent, quasi-recidivist, violated parole or probation
  • RTC - charged with reclusion perpetua and evidence of guilt is strong, even if convicted of lesser penalty; or after conviction for offense punishable by death or reclusion perpetua

Habeas Corpus vis-à-vis Bail; When Bail may be Cancelled


Mendoza vs. CFI, G.R. No. L-35612-14, June 27, 1973

Habeas Corpus: When it is available

Habeas corpus could be invoked by petitioner if he were able to show the illegality of his detention. There is aptness and accuracy in the characterization of the writ of habeas corpus as the writ of liberty. Rightfully it is latitudinarian in scope. It is wide-ranging and all embracing in its reach. It can dig deep into the facts to assure that there be no toleration of illegal restraint. Detention must be for a cause recognized by law. The writ imposes on the judiciary the grave responsibility of ascertaining whether a deprivation of physical freedom is warranted. This it has to discharge without loss of time. The party who is keeping a person in custody has to produce him in court as soon as possible. What is more, he must justify the action taken. Only if it can be demonstrated that there has been no violation of one's right to liberty will he be absolved from responsibility. Unless there be such a showing, the confinement must thereby cease.

Remedy of Habeas Corpus not available when there is Warrant of Arrest

The above formulation of what is settled law finds no application to the present situation. Petitioner's deprivation of liberty is in accordance with a warrant of arrest properly issued after a determination by the judge in compliance with the constitutional provision requiring the examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses produced. No allegation to the contrary may be entertained. It cannot be denied that petitioner's co-accused, Nelso Unal, Hermogenes Lumanglas and Leopoldo Trinidad, had previously come to this court to challenge the filing of one information where there were three victims. Accordingly, this Court, in Unal v. People, required three separate amended informations. There was no question, however, as to the legality of the warrants of arrest previously issued, not only in the case of the parties in such petition, but likewise of petitioner. Habeas corpus, under the circumstances, would not therefore lie."

Bail, concept, rationale

Even if it be granted that petitioner may not be released on a habeas corpus proceeding, is he, however, entitled to bail? Precisely that is the remedy by which, notwithstanding the absence of any flaw in one's confinement, provisional liberty may still be had. Such a remedy, as a matter of fact, was granted him in accordance with an order of the municipal court of Mulanay. Thereafter, however, the bail was revoked by the Court of First Instance in the order now challenged. Such actuation he would now condemn as a grave abuse of discretion. In the landmark decision of Chief Justice Concepcion, People v. Hernandez, the right to bail was rightfully stress as an aspect of the protection accorded individual freedom which, in his eloquent language," is too basic, too transcendental and vital in a republican state, like ours, ...." To be more matter of fact about it, there is this excerpt from de la Camara v. Enage "Before conviction, every person is bailable except if charged with capital offense when the evidence of guilt is strong. Such a right flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Thereby a regime of liberty is honored in the observance and not in the breach. It is not beyond the realm of probability, however, ftlinethat a person charged with a crime, especially so where his defense is weak, would just simply make himself scarce and thus frustrate the hearing of his case. A bail is intended as a guarantee that such an intent would be thwarted. It is, in the language of Cooley, a mode short of confinement which would, with reasonable certainty, insure the attendance of the accused for the subsequent trial. Nor is there anything unreasonable in denying this right to one charged with a capital offense when evidence of guilt is strong, as the likelihood is, rather than await the outcome of the proceeding against him with a death sentence, an ever-present threat, temptation to flee the jurisdiction would be too great to be resisted."

Can bail be cancelled without violating the right to bail?

The precise question however, is whether once the provisional liberty has been thus obtained, it could be terminated by the cancellation of the bail. In the answer filed on behalf of respondent Court, Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza did stress the absence of authority on the part of special counselor Antonio R. Robles who was not authorized to intervene in this case on behalf of the state but did so, his failure to object being the basis of the bail granted by the municipal court of Mulanay, Quezon. Such an allegation was denied by petitioner. We are not called upon to rule definitely on this aspect as independently thereof, there are two other basic objections. One was that petitioner, when the bail was granted, was still at large. The municipal court, therefore, could not have granted bail in accordance with our ruling in Feliciano v. Pasicolan. Thus: "'The constitutional mandate that all persons shall before conviction be bailable except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong, is subject to the limitation that the person applying for bail should be in custody of the law, or otherwise deprived of his liberty. The purpose of bail is to secure one's release and it would be incongruous as to grant bail to one who is free.'" Secondly, and what is worse, the prosecution was never given a chance to present its evidence. The authoritative doctrine in People v. San Diego is thus squarely in point: "Whether the motion for bail of a defendant who is in custody for a capital offense be resolved in summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial, the prosecution must be given an opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all the evidence that it may desire to introduce before the Court should resolve the motion for bail. If, as in the criminal case involved in the instant special civil action, the prosecution should be denied such an opportunity, there would be a violation of procedural due process, and order of the Court granting bail should be considered void."

Extradition Proceedings: Due Process and Right to Bail


Gov’t. of the USA vs. Purganan, G.R. No. 148571, Sept. 24, 2002

FACTS:

Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, the US Government requested the extradition of Mark Jimenez. A hearing was held to determine whether a warrant of arrest should be issued. Afterwards, such warrant was issued but the trial court allowed Jimenez to post bail for his provisional liberty.

ISSUE:
  • Whether or not extraditee is entitled to notice and hearing before issuance of warrant of arrest
  • Whether or not the right to bail is available in extradition proceedings

RULING:

Five Postulates of Extradition

1. Extradition Is a Major Instrument for the Suppression of Crime.

First, extradition treaties are entered into for the purpose of suppressing crime by facilitating the arrest and the custodial transfer of a fugitive from one state to the other.

With the advent of easier and faster means of international travel, the flight of affluent criminals from one country to another for the purpose of committing crime and evading prosecution has become more frequent. Accordingly, governments are adjusting their methods of dealing with criminals and crimes that transcend international boundaries.

Today, “a majority of nations in the world community have come to look upon extradition as the major effective instrument of international co-operation in the suppression of crime.”[30] It is the only regular system that has been devised to return fugitives to the jurisdiction of a court competent to try them in accordance with municipal and international law.

xxx

Indeed, in this era of globalization, easier and faster international travel, and an expanding ring of international crimes and criminals, we cannot afford to be an isolationist state. We need to cooperate with other states in order to improve our chances of suppressing crime in our own country.

2. The Requesting State Will Accord Due Process to the Accused

Second, an extradition treaty presupposes that both parties thereto have examined, and that both accept and trust, each other’s legal system and judicial process. More pointedly, our duly authorized representative’s signature on an extradition treaty signifies our confidence in the capacity and the willingness of the other state to protect the basic rights of the person sought to be extradited. That signature signifies our full faith that the accused will be given, upon extradition to the requesting state, all relevant and basic rights in the criminal proceedings that will take place therein; otherwise, the treaty would not have been signed, or would have been directly attacked for its unconstitutionality.

3. The Proceedings Are Sui Generis

Third, as pointed out in Secretary of Justice v. Lantion, extradition proceedings are not criminal in nature. In criminal proceedings, the constitutional rights of the accused are at fore; in extradition which is sui generis -- in a class by itself -- they are not.

“An extradition [proceeding] is sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into operation all the rights of an accused as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. To begin with, the process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be extradited. Hence, as a rule, constitutional rights that are only relevant to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused cannot be invoked by an extraditee x x x.

x x x x x x x x x

“There are other differences between an extradition proceeding and a criminal proceeding. An extradition proceeding is summary in nature while criminal proceedings involve a full-blown trial. In contradistinction to a criminal proceeding, the rules of evidence in an extradition proceeding allow admission of evidence under less stringent standards. In terms of the quantum of evidence to be satisfied, a criminal case requires proof beyond reasonable doubt for conviction while a fugitive may be ordered extradited ‘upon showing of the existence of a prima facie case.’ Finally, unlike in a criminal case where judgment becomes executory upon being rendered final, in an extradition proceeding, our courts may adjudge an individual extraditable but the President has the final discretion to extradite him. The United States adheres to a similar practice whereby the Secretary of State exercises wide discretion in balancing the equities of the case and the demands of the nation’s foreign relations before making the ultimate decision to extradite.”

Given the foregoing, it is evident that the extradition court is not called upon to ascertain the guilt or the innocence of the person sought to be extradited. Such determination during the extradition proceedings will only result in needless duplication and delay. Extradition is merely a measure of international judicial assistance through which a person charged with or convicted of a crime is restored to a jurisdiction with the best claim to try that person. It is not part of the function of the assisting authorities to enter into questions that are the prerogative of that jurisdiction. The ultimate purpose of extradition proceedings in court is only to determine whether the extradition request complies with the Extradition Treaty, and whether the person sought is extraditable.

4. Compliance Shall Be in Good Faith.

Fourth, our executive branch of government voluntarily entered into the Extradition Treaty, and our legislative branch ratified it. Hence, the Treaty carries the presumption that its implementation will serve the national interest.

Fulfilling our obligations under the Extradition Treaty promotes comity with the requesting state. On the other hand, failure to fulfill our obligations thereunder paints a bad image of our country before the world community. Such failure would discourage other states from entering into treaties with us, particularly an extradition treaty that hinges on reciprocity.

Verily, we are bound by pacta sunt servanda to comply in good faith with our obligations under the Treaty. This principle requires that we deliver the accused to the requesting country if the conditions precedent to extradition, as set forth in the Treaty, are satisfied. In other words, “[t]he demanding government, when it has done all that the treaty and the law require it to do, is entitled to the delivery of the accused on the issue of the proper warrant, and the other government is under obligation to make the surrender.” Accordingly, the Philippines must be ready and in a position to deliver the accused, should it be found proper.

5. There Is an Underlying Risk of Flight

Fifth, persons to be extradited are presumed to be flight risks. This prima facie presumption finds reinforcement in the experience of the executive branch: nothing short of confinement can ensure that the accused will not flee the jurisdiction of the requested state in order to thwart their extradition to the requesting state.

The present extradition case further validates the premise that persons sought to be extradited have a propensity to flee. Indeed, extradition hearings would not even begin, if only the accused were willing to submit to trial in the requesting country. Prior acts of herein respondent -- (1) leaving the requesting state right before the conclusion of his indictment proceedings there; and (2) remaining in the requested state despite learning that the requesting state is seeking his return and that the crimes he is charged with are bailable -- eloquently speak of his aversion to the processes in the requesting state, as well as his predisposition to avoid them at all cost. These circumstances point to an ever-present, underlying high risk of flight. He has demonstrated that he has the capacity and the will to flee. Having fled once, what is there to stop him, given sufficient opportunity, from fleeing a second time?

Due Process

Is an extraditee entitled to notice and hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest?
It is significant to note that Section 6 of PD 1069, our Extradition Law, uses the word “immediate” to qualify the arrest of the accused. This qualification would be rendered nugatory by setting for hearing the issuance of the arrest warrant. Hearing entails sending notices to the opposing parties, receiving facts and arguments from them, and giving them time to prepare and present such facts and arguments. Arrest subsequent to a hearing can no longer be considered “immediate.” The law could not have intended the word as a mere superfluity but, on the whole, as a means of imparting a sense of urgency and swiftness in the determination of whether a warrant of arrest should be issued.

By using the phrase “if it appears,” the law further conveys that accuracy is not as important as speed at such early stage. The trial court is not expected to make an exhaustive determination to ferret out the true and actual situation, immediately upon the filing of the petition. From the knowledge and the material then available to it, the court is expected merely to get a good first impression -- a prima facie finding -- sufficient to make a speedy initial determination as regards the arrest and detention of the accused.

xxx

Even Section 2 of Article III of our Constitution, which is invoked by Jimenez, does not require a notice or a hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. It provides:

“Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”

To determine probable cause for the issuance of arrest warrants, the Constitution itself requires only the examination -- under oath or affirmation -- of complainants and the witnesses they may produce. There is no requirement to notify and hear the accused before the issuance of warrants of arrest.

x x x

At most, in cases of clear insufficiency of evidence on record, judges merely further examine complainants and their witnesses. In the present case, validating the act of respondent judge and instituting the practice of hearing the accused and his witnesses at this early stage would be discordant with the rationale for the entire system. If the accused were allowed to be heard and necessarily to present evidence during the prima facie determination for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, what would stop him from presenting his entire plethora of defenses at this stage -- if he so desires -- in his effort to negate a prima facie finding? Such a procedure could convert the determination of a prima facie case into a full-blown trial of the entire proceedings and possibly make trial of the main case superfluous. This scenario is also anathema to the summary nature of extraditions.

That the case under consideration is an extradition and not a criminal action is not sufficient to justify the adoption of a set of procedures more protective of the accused. If a different procedure were called for at all, a more restrictive one -- not the opposite -- would be justified in view of respondent’s demonstrated predisposition to flee.

Right to Bail

Extradition Different from Ordinary Criminal Proceedings


We agree with petitioner. As suggested by the use of the word “conviction,” the constitutional provision on bail quoted above, as well as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings, because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal.

Moreover, the constitutional right to bail “flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt.” It follows that the constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition, where the presumption of innocence is not at issue.

The provision in the Constitution stating that the “right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended” does not detract from the rule that the constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings. It must be noted that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus finds application “only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.” Hence, the second sentence in the constitutional provision on bail merely emphasizes the right to bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. It cannot be taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition proceedings that are not criminal in nature.

That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United States is not an argument to grant him one in the present case. To stress, extradition proceedings are separate and distinct from the trial for the offenses for which he is charged. He should apply for bail before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the extradition court.

Exceptions to the “No Bail” Rule

The rule, we repeat, is that bail is not a matter of right in extradition cases. However, the judiciary has the constitutional duty to curb grave abuse of discretion and tyranny, as well as the power to promulgate rules to protect and enforce constitutional rights. Furthermore, we believe that the right to due process is broad enough to include the grant of basic fairness to extraditees. Indeed, the right to due process extends to the “life, liberty or property” of every person. It is “dynamic and resilient, adaptable to every situation calling for its application.”

Accordingly and to best serve the ends of justice, we believe and so hold that, after a potential extraditee has been arrested or placed under the custody of the law, bail may be applied for and granted as an exception, only upon a clear and convincing showing (1) that, once granted bail, the applicant will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances including, as a matter of reciprocity, those cited by the highest court in the requesting state when it grants provisional liberty in extradition cases therein.

Since this exception has no express or specific statutory basis, and since it is derived essentially from general principles of justice and fairness, the applicant bears the burden of proving the above two-tiered requirement with clarity, precision and emphatic forcefulness. The Court realizes that extradition is basically an executive, not a judicial, responsibility arising from the presidential power to conduct foreign relations. In its barest concept, it partakes of the nature of police assistance amongst states, which is not normally a judicial prerogative. Hence, any intrusion by the courts into the exercise of this power should be characterized by caution, so that the vital international and bilateral interests of our country will not be unreasonably impeded or compromised. In short, while this Court is ever protective of “the sporting idea of fair play,” it also recognizes the limits of its own prerogatives and the need to fulfill international obligations.

Bail is a Matter of Discretion on the part of Appellate Court

Obosa vs. CA, G.R. No. 144350, Jan. 16, 1997

FACTS:

Obosa was charged with two counts of murder for the ambush and slaying of former Secretary of Interior and Local Governments Jaime Ferrer and his driver Jesus Calderon. However, he was only convicted of two counts of homicide by the trial court. Obosa applied for bail with the trial court. While this is pending, he appealed the case to the CA, which found strong evidence of guilt. Meanwhile, the trial court approved Obosa’s bail bond, prompting the prosecution to request the CA to cancel the bail bond approved by the trial court. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not accused is entitled to right to bail pending appeal as a matter of right

RULING:

The Purpose of Bail

In the case of De la Camara vs. Enage, we analyzed the purpose of bail and why it should be denied to one charged with a capital offense when evidence of guilt is strong:

"x x x Before conviction, every person is bailable except if charged with capital offenses when the evidence of guilt is strong. Such a right flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Thereby a regime of liberty is honored in the observance and not in the breach. It is not beyond the realm of probability, however, that a person charged with a crime, especially so where his defense is weak, would just simply make himself scarce and thus frustrate the hearing of his case. A bail is intended as a guarantee that such an intent would be thwarted. It is, in the language of Cooley, a 'mode short of confinement which would, with reasonable certainty, insure the attendance of the accused' for the subsequent trial. Nor is there anything unreasonable in denying this right to one charged with a capital offense when evidence of guilt is strong. as the likelihood is, rather than await the outcome of the proceeding against him with a death sentence, an ever-present threat, temptation to flee the jurisdiction would be too great to be resisted." (Underscoring supplied).

The aforequoted rationale applies with equal force to an appellant who, though convicted of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, was nevertheless originally charged with a capital offense. Such appellant can hardly be unmindful of the fact that, in the ordinary course of things, there is a substantial likelihood of his conviction (and the corresponding penalty) being affirmed on appeal, or worse, the not insignificant possibility and infinitely more unpleasant prospect of instead being found guilty of the capital offense originally charged. In such an instance, the appellant cannot but be sorely tempted to flee.

Appeal in a Criminal Case Opens the Whole Case for Review, including Penalty

In Quemuel vs. CA, et al., this Court held that the appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review and this includes the penalty, which may be increased. Thus, on appeal, as the entire case is submitted for review, even factual questions may once more be weighed and evaluated. That being the situation, the possibility of conviction upon the original charge is ever present. Likewise, if the prosecution had previously demonstrated that evidence of the accused's guilt is strong, as it had done so in this case, such determination subsists even on appeal, despite conviction for a lesser offense, since such determination is for the purpose of resolving whether to grant or deny bail and does not have any bearing on whether petitioner will ultimately be acquitted or convicted of the charge.

Bail is a Matter of Discretion on Appeal

We have previously held that, while the accused, after conviction, may upon application be bailed at the discretion of the court, that discretion — particularly with respect to extending the bail — should be exercised not with laxity, but with caution and only for strong reasons, with the end in view of upholding the majesty of the law and the administration of justice.



SECTION 14
Right to Due Process, to be Presumed Innocent, Speedy Trial


Sec. 14: (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable.


DUE PROCESS
- procedural, not substantive
- procedure established by law for the prosecution of offenses must be followed

STEPS:
  1. Preliminary examination by judge to determine probable cause for issuance of warrant of arrest
  2. Arrest and interrogation by authorities
  3. Preliminary investigation by the prosecutor to determine probable cause for purposes of filing information
  4. Filing of information in court
  5. Arraignment
  6. Preliminary conference
  7. Pre-trial conference
  8. Presentation of evidence by prosecution
  9. Presentation of evidence by defense
  10. Rebuttal
  11. Offer of evidence
  12. Decision
  13. Promulgation of judgment

NOTA BENE: The absence of preliminary investigation does not impair the validity of a criminal information, nor does it otherwise render it defective, neither does it affect the jurisdiction of the court over the case.


Extradition Proceedings: No Notice and Hearing during Evaluation Stage

Secretary of Justice vs. Lantion, G.R. No. 139465, Oct. 17, 2000

FACTS:

On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S Note Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jiminez to the United States.

On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark Jiminez through counsel, wrote a letter to Justice Secretary requesting copies of the official extradition request from the U.S Government and that he be given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have received copies of the requested papers but the petitioner denied the request for the consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty stated in Article 7 that the Philippine Government must present the interests of the United States in any proceedings arising out of a request for extradition.

ISSUE: Whether or not private respondent has right to notice and hearing

RULING:

Rationale of Extradition Treaty; Summary Proceeding

It cannot be gainsaid that today, countries like the Philippines forge extradition treaties to arrest the dramatic rise of international and transnational crimes like terrorism and drug trafficking. Extradition treaties provide the assurance that the punishment of these crimes will not be frustrated by the frontiers of territorial sovereignty. Implicit in the treaties should be the unbending commitment that the perpetrators of these crimes will not be coddled by any signatory state.

It ought to follow that the RP-US Extradition Treaty calls for an interpretation that will minimize if not prevent the escape of extraditees from the long arm of the law and expedite their trial. The submission of the private respondent, that as a probable extraditee under the RP-US Extradition Treaty he should be furnished a copy of the US government request for his extradition and its supporting documents even while they are still under evaluation by petitioner Secretary of Justice, does not meet this desideratum. The fear of the petitioner Secretary of Justice that the demanded notice is equivalent to a notice to flee must be deeply rooted on the experience of the executive branch of our government. As it comes from the branch of our government in charge of the faithful execution of our laws, it deserves the careful consideration of this Court. In addition, it cannot be gainsaid that private respondent’s demand for advance notice can delay the summary process of executive evaluation of the extradition request and its accompanying papers. The foresight of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes did not miss this danger. In 1911, he held:

"It is common in extradition cases to attempt to bring to bear all the factitious niceties of a criminal trial at common law. But it is a waste of time . . . if there is presented, even in somewhat untechnical form according to our ideas, such reasonable ground to suppose him guilty as to make it proper that he should be tried, good faith to the demanding government requires his surrender." (emphasis supplied)
We erode no right of an extraditee when we do not allow time to stand still on his prosecution. Justice is best served when done without delay.

Extradition Proceeding is Sui Generis; Not Criminal

An extradition proceeding is sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into operation all the rights of an accused as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. To begin with, the process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be extradited. Hence, as a rule, constitutional rights that are only relevant to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused cannot be invoked by an extraditee especially by one whose extradition papers are still undergoing evaluation. As held by the US Supreme Court in United States v. Galanis:

"An extradition proceeding is not a criminal prosecution, and the constitutional safeguards that accompany a criminal trial in this country do not shield an accused from extradition pursuant to a valid treaty."

There are other differences between an extradition proceeding and a criminal proceeding. An extradition proceeding is summary in nature while criminal proceedings involve a full-blown trial. In contradistinction to a criminal proceeding, the rules of evidence in an extradition proceeding allow admission of evidence under less stringent standards. In terms of the quantum of evidence to be satisfied, a criminal case requires proof beyond reasonable doubt for conviction while a fugitive may be ordered extradited "upon showing of the existence of a prima facie case." Finally, unlike in a criminal case where judgment becomes executory upon being rendered final, in an extradition proceeding, our courts may adjudge an individual extraditable but the President has the final discretion to extradite him. The United States adheres to a similar practice whereby the Secretary of State exercises wide discretion in balancing the equities of the case and the demands of the nation's foreign relations before making the ultimate decision to extradite.

As an extradition proceeding is not criminal in character and the evaluation stage in an extradition proceeding is not akin to a preliminary investigation, the due process safeguards in the latter do not necessarily apply to the former. This we hold for the procedural due process required by a given set of circumstances "must begin with a determination of the precise nature of the government function involved as well as the private interest that has been affected by governmental action." The concept of due process is flexible for "not all situations calling for procedural safeguards call for the same kind of procedure."

Constitutional Right to Due Process vis-a-vis State’s Obligation to Treaty

Considering that in the case at bar, the extradition proceeding is only at its evaluation stage, the nature of the right being claimed by the private respondent is nebulous and the degree of prejudice he will allegedly suffer is weak, we accord greater weight to the interests espoused by the government thru the petitioner Secretary of Justice. In Angara v. Electoral Commission, we held that the "Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the government." Under our constitutional scheme, executive power is vested in the President of the Philippines. Executive power includes, among others, the power to contract or guarantee foreign loans and the power to enter into treaties or international agreements. The task of safeguarding that these treaties are duly honored devolves upon the executive department which has the competence and authority to so act in the international arena. It is traditionally held that the President has power and even supremacy over the country’s foreign relations. The executive department is aptly accorded deference on matters of foreign relations considering the President’s most comprehensive and most confidential information about the international scene of which he is regularly briefed by our diplomatic and consular officials. His access to ultra-sensitive military intelligence data is also unlimited. The deference we give to the executive department is dictated by the principle of separation of powers. This principle is one of the cornerstones of our democratic government. It cannot be eroded without endangering our government.

The Philippines also has a national interest to help in suppressing crimes and one way to do it is to facilitate the extradition of persons covered by treaties duly entered by our government. More and more, crimes are becoming the concern of one world. Laws involving crimes and crime prevention are undergoing universalization. One manifest purpose of this trend towards globalization is to deny easy refuge to a criminal whose activities threaten the peace and progress of civilized countries. It is to the great interest of the Philippines to be part of this irreversible movement in light of its vulnerability to crimes, especially transnational crimes.

In tilting the balance in favor of the interests of the State, the Court stresses that it is not ruling that the private respondent has no right to due process at all throughout the length and breadth of the extrajudicial proceedings. Procedural due process requires a determination of what process is due, when it is due, and the degree of what is due. Stated otherwise, a prior determination should be made as to whether procedural protections are at all due and when they are due, which in turn depends on the extent to which an individual will be "condemned to suffer grievous loss." We have explained why an extraditee has no right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. As aforesaid, P.D. No. 1069 which implements the RP-US Extradition Treaty affords an extraditee sufficient opportunity to meet the evidence against him once the petition is filed in court. The time for the extraditee to know the basis of the request for his extradition is merely moved to the filing in court of the formal petition for extradition. The extraditee's right to know is momentarily withheld during the evaluation stage of the extradition process to accommodate the more compelling interest of the State to prevent escape of potential extraditees which can be precipitated by premature information of the basis of the request for his extradition. No less compelling at that stage of the extradition proceedings is the need to be more deferential to the judgment of a co-equal branch of the government, the Executive, which has been endowed by our Constitution with greater power over matters involving our foreign relations. Needless to state, this balance of interests is not a static but a moving balance which can be adjusted as the extradition process moves from the administrative stage to the judicial stage and to the execution stage depending on factors that will come into play. In sum, we rule that the temporary hold on private respondent's privilege of notice and hearing is a soft restraint on his right to due process which will not deprive him of fundamental fairness should he decide to resist the request for his extradition to the United States. There is no denial of due process as long as fundamental fairness is assured a party.



PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
Burden of proof lies on his accusers to prove him guilty

Equiponderance of Evidence (Equipoise Doctrine) – when preponderance of evidence is at equipoise, court will find for the defendant; when the scale stand at an equipoise and there is nothing in evidence to incline it either way, the court shall rule against the party who has the burden of proof

Proof beyond reasonable doubt – not to be equated with absolute certainty; moral certainty, or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind


Prosecution has Burden of Proof


People vs. Austria, G.R. No. L-55109, April 8, 1991

It is axiomatic that conviction should be made on the basis of a strong, clear and compelling evidence (People v. Tulagan, 143 SCRA 107 [1986]. Thus, "if the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill the tests of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction" (People v. Ale, 145 SCRA 64 [1986]; People v. Modesto, 25 SCRA 36 [1968]).

To overcome the presumption of innocence, proof beyond reasonable doubt is needed. Thus, in People v. Dramayo, 42 SCRA 60 [1971], this Court held:

Accusation is not, according to the fundamental law, synonymous with guilt; the prosecution must overthrow the presumption of innocence with proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. To meet this standard, there is need for the most careful scrutiny of the testimony of the state, both oral and documentary, independently of whatever defense is offered by the accused. Only if the judge below and the appellate tribunal could arrive at a conclusion that the crime had been committed precisely by the person on trial under such an exacting test should the sentence be one of conviction. It is thus required that every circumstance favoring his innocence be duly taken into account. The proof against him must survive the test of reason; the strongest suspicion must not be permitted to sway judgment.

Presumption of Innocence vs. Presumption of Regularity of Performance of Official Duty


People vs. Briones, G.R. No. 113498, Jan. 16, 1997

The foregoing circumstances militate against affirming appellant's conviction. For the same reason, we can not stamp with approval the trial court's undue reliance with the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty. While SPO1 Alilio is presumed to have regularly performed his official duty, this presumption alone cannot by itself support a judgment of conviction. Indeed, under our Constitution, an accused, no matter how despicable the crime for which he may have been charged, still enjoys the presumption of innocence. And this presumption prevails over the presumption of regularity of the performance of official duty. Nor can it be overcome by just an ordinary proof to the contrary for to convict an accused, no less and nothing more than proof beyond reasonable doubt is necessary. In this case, the threshold issue is whether or not the guilt of the appellant has been established by this required quantum of proof? We rule in the negative. Accordingly, we reverse his conviction based on reasonable doubt.

Equipoise Doctrine


Corpuz vs. People, G.R. No. 74259, Feb. 14, 1991

The equipoise rule invoked by the petitioner is applicable only where the evidence of the parties is evenly balanced, in which case the constitutional presumption of innocence should tilt the scales in favor of the accused. There is no such equipoise here. The evidence of the prosecution is overwhelming and has not been overcome by the petitioner with his nebulous claims of persecution and conspiracy. The presumed innocence of the accused must yield to the positive finding that he malversed the sum of P50,310.87 to the prejudice of the public whose confidence he has breached. His conviction must be affirmed.


RIGHT TO BE HEARD

Right to be present at the trial
  • accused has an absolute right to be personally present during the entire proceedings from arraignment to sentence, if he so desires
  • limited only to trial court proceedings and only to the actual trial therein, not to appellate proceedings or proceedings subsequent to the entry of final judgment, looking only to the execution of the sentence

GENERAL RULE: Accused may waive his right to be present during trial.

EXCEPTIONS: (Presence of Accused is Mandatory)

  • Arraignment and plea – presence of lawyer is also indispensable
  • during trial, for identification
  • during the promulgation of sentence, unless for a light offense wherein the accused may appear by counsel or a representative

NOTA BENE:
  • If the judgment is one of acquittal, the accused need not be present.
  • If the judgment is conviction but for a light offense, the accused need not be present.
  • If the judgment is conviction and the offense is grave, the presence of the accused is mandatory.
  • If trial in absentia and judgment is rendered, it will be promulgated even without presence of accused but he will be furnished with copies sent to his last known address.
  • If appeal, presence of the accused is not necessary. It is the duty of the appellate court to appoint counsel, whose presence is indispensable.

Right to counsel
  • if the accused appears without an attorney, he must be informed by the court of such right before being arraigned, and must be asked if he desires to have the aid of counsel
  • if he can’t afford one, a counsel de officio shall be appointed for him
  • the indispensable aid of counsel continues even at the stage of appeal
  • not waivable
  • the right to be represented by counsel is ABSOLUTE, but the option of the accused to hire one of his own choice is LIMITED

Right to an impartial judge
  • a judge who had conducted the preliminary investigation and made a finding of probable cause is not disqualified from trying the case, in the absence of evidence of partiality

Right of confrontation
  • available only during trial, not during preliminary investigation
  • REASON: so defendant may make objection to the witness or so witness may identify him
  • right to cross-examine
  • if the defense counsel deferred cross-examination of the prosecution witness and then this witness dies, accused cannot anymore ask the witness’ direct examination to be expunged from the records since the denial of the right to confrontation is through no fault of plaintiff
EXCEPTIONS:
  1. Dying Declaration
  2. Trial in absentia - REQUISITES: (1) accused has been arraigned; (2) accused has been duly notified of the date of trial; (3) failure of the accused to appear is unjustified
  3. Depositions - witness is dead, insane or otherwise cannot be found, with due diligence, in the Philippines

Right to compulsory processes

2 KINDS OF SUBPOENA:
  1. Ad testificandum - to compel a witness to attend and testify
  2. Duces Tecum - to compel a person having under his control documents or papers relevant to the case to bring such items to court during trial


RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF ACCUSATION
  • presence of accused is indispensable during arraignment and promulgation of judgment of conviction
  • after arraignment, only formal amendments to the Information may be granted by court
  • not waivable
  • description, not designation of the offense, controls
  • all the attending aggravating and qualifying circumstances must be alleged in the Information and proved during trial; EXCEPT: for purposes of proving moral damages only, then it is allowed to be proved even if not alleged


RIGHT TO SPEEDY, IMPARTIAL AND PUBLIC TRIAL
- available in every criminal prosecution

“Speedy” - there is no fixed criterion in our statues to determine with precision the time for speedy trial. As soon as after indictment as the prosecution can with reasonable diligence prepare for it. It means a trial free from vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays. But justice and fairness, not speed, are the objectives

NOTA BENE: If the accused is acquitted on ground of denial of his right to speedy trial, it is a judgment on the merits and therefore, first jeopardy attaches.

“Impartial” - cold neutrality of an impartial judge; absence of bias or prejudice

“Public” - open to the free observation of all
- EXCEPT: evidence to be adduced at the trial is of such character as to be offensive to decency and public morals


SECTION 16
Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases


Sec. 16: All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.


**Covers all phases of any judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative proceedings, including custodial and preliminary investigation of an accused. Speedy is a relative term and must be a flexible concept. The circumstances of each case must be weighed carefully to find out whether there has been a “speedy disposition”


Inordinate Delay in Preliminary Investigation Violative, Exception to the Rule


Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 72335-39, March 21, 1988

We find the long delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan in the instant case to be violative of the constitutional right of the accused to due process. Substantial adherence to the requirements of the law governing the conduct of preliminary investigation, including substantial compliance with the time limitation prescribed by the law for the resolution of the case by the prosecutor, is part of the procedural due process constitutionally guaranteed by the fundamental law. Not only under the broad umbrella of the due process clause, but under the constitutional guarantee of "speedy disposition" of cases as embodied in Section 16 of the Bill of Rights (both in the 1973 and the 1987 Constitutions), the inordinate delay is violative of the petitioner's constitutional rights. A delay of close to three (3) years can not be deemed reasonable or justifiable in the light of the circumstance obtaining in the case at bar. We are not impressed by the attempt of the Sandiganbayan to sanitize the long delay by indulging in the speculative assumption that "the delay may be due to a painstaking and gruelling scrutiny by the Tanodbayan as to whether the evidence presented during the preliminary investigation merited prosecution of a former high ranking government official." In the first place, such a statement suggests a double standard of treatment, which must be emphatically rejected. Secondly, three out of the five charges against the petitioner were for his alleged failure to file his sworn statement of assets and liabilities required by Republic Act No. 3019, which certainly did not involve complicated legal and factual issues necessitating such "painstaking and gruelling scrutiny" as would justify a delay of almost three years in terminating the preliminary investigation. The other two charges relating to alleged bribery and alleged giving of unwarranted benefits to a relative, while presenting more substantial legal and factual issues, certainly do not warrant or justify the period of three years, which it took the Tanodbayan to resolve the case.

It has been suggested that the long delay in terminating the preliminary investigation should not be deemed fatal, for even the complete absence of a preliminary investigation does not warrant dismissal of the information. True-but the absence of a preliminary investigation can be corrected by giving the accused such investigation. But an undue delay in the conduct of a preliminary investigation can not be corrected, for until now, man has not yet invented a device for setting back time.

After a careful review of the facts and circumstances of this case, we are constrained to hold that the inordinate delay in terminating the preliminary investigation and filing the information in the instant case is violative of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the petitioner to due process and to a speedy disposition of the cases against him. Accordingly, the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 10499, 10500, 10501, 10502 and 10503 should be dismissed. In view of the foregoing, we find it unnecessary to rule on the other issues raised by petitioner.

Delay in Preliminary Investigation, Not Violative


Santiago vs. Garchitorena, G.R. No. L-109266, Dec. 2, 1993

Petitioner cannot complain that her constitutional rights to due process were violated by reason of the delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation. According to her, while the offense was allegedly committed "on or before October 17, 1988", the information was filed only on May 9, 1991 and the amended informations on December 8, 1992 (Rollo, p. 14).
Tatad v. Sandiganbayan, 159 SCRA 70 [1988] is inapplicable to petitioner's case. In Tatad, there indeed was an unexplained inaction on the part of the public prosecutors in spite of the simplicity of the legal and factual issues involved therein.

In the case at bench, there was a continuum of the investigatory process but it got snarled because of the complexity of the issues involved. The act complained of in the original information came to the attention of the Ombudsman only when it was first reported in the January 10, 1989 issue of the Manila Standard. Immediately thereafter, the investigatory process was set in motion. The investigation was first assigned to Special Prosecutor Gualberto dela Llana but on request of petitioner herself the investigation was re-assigned to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon. The case was handled by a panel of four prosecutors, who submitted a draft resolution for the filing of the charges on March 29, 1990. The draft resolution had to undergo the hierarchy of review, normal for a draft resolution with a dissenting vote, until it reached the Ombudsman in March 1991.

We note that petitioner had previously filed two petitions before us involving Criminal Case No. 16698 (G.R. Nos. 99289-99290; G.R. No. 107598). Petitioner has not explained why she failed to raise the issue of delay in the preliminary investigation and the filing of the information against her in those petitions. A piece-meal presentation of issues, like the splitting of causes of action, is self-defeating.


SECTION 17
Right Against Self-Incrimination


Sec. 17: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.


  • Available both before or during criminal prosecution
  • Accused is competent to testify in his behalf, but he is entitled to the right not to testify as a witness against himself. He cannot be compelled to incriminate himself; that is, to say or do anything that can be used against himself
  • Accused can invoke this right from the beginning; however in case of witness, he can invoke this right only when the questions start to become incriminating

RATIONALE:
  1. Public policy
  2. Humanity

GENERAL RULE: The accused cannot be compelled to testify against his co-accused under the theory that the “act of one is the act of all.”

EXCEPTIONS:

  • If he is discharged as a state witness
  • After he is convicted or acquitted
  • By trying him separately instead of jointly with his other co-accused


SECTION 19
Right Against Excessive Fines and Cruel, Degrading or Inhuman Punishment


Sec. 19: (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua.

(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law.


Excessive fines – flagrantly disproportionate to the offense no matter what circumstances the offense was committed

Cruel and unusual punishment – in its form; duration or amount; in flagrant disproportion between the offense and the punishment


SECTION 21
Right Against Double Jeopardy


Sec. 21: No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act.


Double Jeopardy – two perils or dangers of being tried and punished

2 KINDS:
1.Same Offense (First sentence of Sec. 21)

REQUISITES:
  • First jeopardy
  • A valid complaint and information
  • A court of competent jurisdiction
  • Arraignment and valid plea
  • First jeopardy has been terminated
  • Second jeopardy for the same offense – includes an attempt or frustration of the same offense or it necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the other

“Terminated” – either by conviction, acquittal or dismissal upon the merit without consent of the accused

CONVICTION: a judgment declaring the accused guilty of the offense charged and imposing upon him the penalty provided by law; accused may appeal and this is not double jeopardy
ACQUITTAL: a termination of the case based upon the merits of the issue; prosecution cannot appeal anymore
DISMISSAL: a termination of the case other than upon the merits thereof; first jeopardy only attaches if dismissal without consent of accused

NOTA BENE:
  • Consent means approval, acquiescence, conformity, agreement, etc. Mere silence of the accused should not be construed as consent.
  • Even if the motion to dismiss was filed by the accused, the dismissal is equivalent to acquittal if it is grounded on (1) insufficiency of evidence (demurrer to evidence after prosecution has rested its case); (2) denial of the right to speedy trial
  • Supervening Facts – when the second offense was not in existence when the first offense was charged and tried, then another information may be filed or the present information may be amended (substantial)

2.Act Punished by a Law and Ordinance (Second sentence of Sec. 21)
  • this will only apply if the accused has been either convicted or acquitted
  • if the case was only dismissed not upon the merits, the prosecution may re-file


Provisional Dismissal


People vs. Lacson, G.R. No. 149453, April 1, 2003

Section 8, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure reads:

Sec. 8. Provisional dismissal. – A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and with notice to the offended party.

The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount, or both, shall become permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having been revived. With respect to offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than six (6) years, their provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after issuance of the order without the case having been revived.
Having invoked said rule before the petitioners-panel of prosecutors and before the Court of Appeals, the respondent is burdened to establish the essential requisites of the first paragraph thereof, namely:

1. the prosecution with the express conformity of the accused or the accused moves for a provisional (sin perjuicio) dismissal of the case; or both the prosecution and the accused move for a provisional dismissal of the case;
2. the offended party is notified of the motion for a provisional dismissal of the case;
3. the court issues an order granting the motion and dismissing the case provisionally;
4. the public prosecutor is served with a copy of the order of provisional dismissal of the case.

The foregoing requirements are conditions sine qua non to the application of the time-bar in the second paragraph of the new rule. The raison d’ etre for the requirement of the express consent of the accused to a provisional dismissal of a criminal case is to bar him from subsequently asserting that the revival of the criminal case will place him in double jeopardy for the same offense or for an offense necessarily included therein.

Although the second paragraph of the new rule states that the order of dismissal shall become permanent one year after the issuance thereof without the case having been revived, the provision should be construed to mean that the order of dismissal shall become permanent one year after service of the order of dismissal on the public prosecutor who has control of the prosecution without the criminal case having been revived. The public prosecutor cannot be expected to comply with the timeline unless he is served with a copy of the order of dismissal.
Express consent to a provisional dismissal is given either viva voce or in writing. It is a positive, direct, unequivocal consent requiring no inference or implication to supply its meaning. Where the accused writes on the motion of a prosecutor for a provisional dismissal of the case No objection or With my conformity, the writing amounts to express consent of the accused to a provisional dismissal of the case. The mere inaction or silence of the accused to a motion for a provisional dismissal of the case or his failure to object to a provisional dismissal does not amount to express consent.

A motion of the accused for a provisional dismissal of a case is an express consent to such provisional dismissal. If a criminal case is provisionally dismissed with the express consent of the accused, the case may be revived only within the periods provided in the new rule. On the other hand, if a criminal case is provisionally dismissed without the express consent of the accused or over his objection, the new rule would not apply. The case may be revived or refiled even beyond the prescribed periods subject to the right of the accused to oppose the same on the ground of double jeopardy or that such revival or refiling is barred by the statute of limitations.

The case may be revived by the State within the time-bar either by the refiling of the Information or by the filing of a new Information for the same offense or an offense necessarily included therein. There would be no need of a new preliminary investigation. However, in a case wherein after the provisional dismissal of a criminal case, the original witnesses of the prosecution or some of them may have recanted their testimonies or may have died or may no longer be available and new witnesses for the State have emerged, a new preliminary investigation must be conducted before an Information is refiled or a new Information is filed. A new preliminary investigation is also required if aside from the original accused, other persons are charged under a new criminal complaint for the same offense or necessarily included therein; or if under a new criminal complaint, the original charge has been upgraded; or if under a new criminal complaint, the criminal liability of the accused is upgraded from that as an accessory to that as a principal. The accused must be accorded the right to submit counter-affidavits and evidence. After all, “the fiscal is not called by the Rules of Court to wait in ambush; the role of a fiscal is not mainly to prosecute but essentially to do justice to every man and to assist the court in dispensing that justice.”

In this case, the respondent has failed to prove that the first and second requisites of the first paragraph of the new rule were present when Judge Agnir, Jr. dismissed Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689. Irrefragably, the prosecution did not file any motion for the provisional dismissal of the said criminal cases. xxx

xxx

Since the conditions sine qua non for the application of the new rule were not present when Judge Agnir, Jr. issued his resolution, the State is not barred by the time limit set forth in the second paragraph of Section 8 of Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. The State can thus revive or refile Criminal Cases Nos. Q-99-81679 to Q-99-81689 or file new Informations for multiple murder against the respondent.


SECTION 22
No Ex Post Facto Law or Bill of Attainder


Sec. 22: No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.


Ex post facto law – one that punishes an act which was not punishable when committed; or aggravates a crime or makes it greater than when committed; or changes the laws on evidence so that lesser evidence is needed for conviction than when the act was done

Bill of Attainder – a law which inflicts punishment without benefit of judicial trial

ELEMENTS OF EX POST FACTO LAW:
  1. Penal
  2. Retroactive
  3. Disadvantageous to the accused
  4. Must take from the accused any right that was regarded, at the time of the adoption of the constitution as vital for the protection of life and liberty and which he enjoyed at the time of the commission of the offense charged against him

ELEMENTS OF BILL OF ATTAINDER:
  1. There is a law
  2. The law imposes a penal burden on a specified individual or an easily ascertainable members of a group
  3. The penal burden is imposed directly by the law without judicial trial

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you so much :) keep it up!

Anonymous said...

thanks sir

Anonymous said...

thanks cir

Anonymous said...

TNX PO 4 DA INFO..IT HELPS A LOT FOR MY REPORT:)

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